Amazing Race's Nary and Jamie: Art and JJ Are Jerks
Jamie and Nary
Federal agents Nary Ebeid and Jamie Graetz started off nearly three hours behind everyone else on The Amazing Race's second Tanzanian leg, but — thanks to two Double U-Turns — managed to finish only 15 minutes behind. "I'd say it was a damn good effort!" Jamie tells TVGuide.com. "We made up several hours. It was hard for viewers to see how far behind we were with the tent thing last week, but we were hours behind. It was pretty awesome when we saw Ralph and Vanessa at the Speed Bump because it was like, 'We're still in it!' And then it was over!" Their elimination is sure to bring some smiles to the faces of Art and JJ, who are still peeved about the girls not admitting to using a kindergarten teacher's cover. "I don't understand why it's such a big deal to them that we didn't tell them," Nary says. "Like, concentrate on yourself." So why didn't they confess the truth? Find out below!
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How far behind Vanessa and Ralph were you?
Nary: They said we were close. ... The Speed Bump took maybe 20 to 30 minutes, so I would say within 15 to 30 minutes.
Jamie: I think we were closer than 30 minutes for sure, especially with us running. You know they didn't run that whole way. [Laughs] We ran the whole way, so I would say less than 30 minutes, closer to 15.
Why was the tent so hard for you last week? Was it a height issue or a strength issue? You commented on how you were the only team without a guy.
Jamie: We're both kind of short. We're standing on this rickety table and it was about to break any minute. Everything was just hard. ... I don't know that we needed a guy per se. We could've used some height! [Laughs] Put on a pair of high heels or something. But I was really happy with it. We were absolutely exhausted, but I was super-stoked that we finished it, especially with that stinkin' shower, which was a pain in and of itself.
I liked that you stopped to check out the elephants last week.
Nary: Oh yeah! There was no doubt we were last and we were like, "This is a chance of a lifetime and if we're gonna get eliminated, we're gonna be happy with what we saw right before we got eliminated." I mean, we're in Africa! There's wild life everywhere and to not stop and see a herd of elephants? If there was another team close by at that point, we wouldn't have stopped, but knowing we were last, we were able to and we were in awe.
How long did air supply take you to do? It seemed like you had a chance to pass Vanessa and Ralph, but they got to the clue first.
Jamie: I think we did it as quick as one could do it. I think that was old time that we were trying to make up. I don't think we had ever gained and then lost time; I think we were always trying to slowly gain and gain and gain up on them. After that, I didn't know that they had gotten a flat tire — those taxis were rough — and we were able to catch up to them.
Were you ever worried about getting U-Turned? Art and JJ said you guys were the second target after Brendon and Rachel.
Nary: We did hear that they wanted to get rid of us because of them finding out what we did for a living and they were probably pissed off. We didn't care, but being in last place and being two hours behind Ralph and Vanessa and three hours behind Dave and Rachel, that would've been just been bad gameplay. We didn't think anyone would've U-Turned us because there were teams ahead of us. I don't think we ever thought for sure we would be.
Jamie: It's funny watching the show because you could see how much of a jerk JJ is about that. He was pushing it hardcore even though he never saw us. It wasn't a secret that we were far behind. We were never a threat to them or anyone else really this leg.
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I take it you think they were completely over the top with their reaction to Dave and Rachel not U-Turning Brendon and Rachel.
Jamie: Oh, yeah! JJ was definitely out of line. Dave and Rachel were like, "Dude, chill out," and rightfully so. Once they start to get on a roll, they get this arrogance about them that left a super-bad taste in my mouth. I was like, "I wouldn't want to be portrayed like that. They're a bunch of jerks."
Nary: That arrogance was already there in the first episode when they didn't come in first place. And after they won three legs in a row, it made their arrogance just worse.
Jamie: And you know — God forbid they get beaten by two chicks! I mean, they would've died. That's why you saw them go into survivor mode in the airport last week. Everybody started fighting and they immediately confronted us, and then they go to Bopper and say, "Hey, if you want to stay in this game, you need to leave them and stick with us." I think it started to hit them, like, "Crap, if we get beat by two female federal agents, we're never gonna live this down."
What happened with them figuring out what you did? Did you accidentally slip up when you asked about their "undercover work"?
Jamie: It was kind of twofold. ... Everybody's around the campfire, exhausted, and Art is just going on and on about this undercover work. He called it "UC work." Of course, I know what it means. And I know what border patrol does and I know what the majority of what border patrol agents do. So I was like — because I was really sick of him at this point — "Oh, really, Art? What kind of undercover work do you do? And what kind of caseload do you maintain?" He made it seem like that's all he did, like he was living under deep cover with a motorcycle gang! [Laughs] Like, c'mon, Art, let's be real here! So that's how it came out and they made it seem on TV that we didn't have a response when they confronted us, but we did. Our thing was that we didn't tell them because of their approach. There was all this commotion at the airport and then they immediately tried to call us out. Had they done it when things were calm and in a more friendly way, we probably would've told them.
Were Bopper and Mark, and Brendon and Rachel the only teams you told?
Nary: Yes, but of course there was speculation because of Art and JJ. But if you listened, Dave and Rachel still called us teachers in this episode. Bopper and Mark were still calling us teachers. We told Bopper and Mark, and Brendon and Rachel because they were nice about it and they were our friends on the show. It felt like it was our duty as friends to tell them the truth.
Jamie: We cared about what they thought. It was important for us that they didn't feel like we were lying to them about everything. I really did appreciate their friendships and I do still. I wanted them to know that everything that we spoke about our families and friends during downtime was 100 percent true. The teachers thing was the only lie. We wanted them to know that we were genuinely their friends. The other teams? We didn't really have that connection with them.
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Do you think you lying about being teachers accomplished what you wanted it to?
Nary: [Laughs] I think it was funny more than anything. In a way, I would say yes. In the watermelon challenge, there's an extra clip online where Art and JJ go, "Go, teachers!" They're looking at us, like, "Look at you girls! You're doing a good job." If they knew what we did then, they would not be saying, "Go, girls!" It was little things like that. Overall, people love teachers, whereas, with agents, people have differing and some negative views about them and might pre-judge us. We wanted people to know who we were as people as opposed to us as our profession.
How did you shoot yourself in the femur, Jamie?
Jamie: We were training and my gun went off while it was in my holster. I don't really still know what happened, but it shattered my femur. I was in the hospital for about a week. I was off work for a long time and I had to do physical therapy just to walk again. We both love to run and my goal was to get back to work and run again. I was quite intimidated early on, with the anxiety that we might get cast, because I didn't want to let Nary down if I couldn't carry something or couldn't run. I wanted to make sure I was there for her. I was working hard before, but I really worked hard for the Race and I didn't feel it at all through the show. It was wonderful. It came through for me.
What are you up to now?
Nary: Back to work!
With caseloads and UC work?
Nary: [Laughs] Hundreds of hours of UC work! Deep cover!
Jamie: Secret's out!